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Good classic Black Metal - 77%

Lord_Byleth, October 11th, 2009

Four years after their first self-title album, Black Altar (or maybe only Shadow) returns with another opus. If you listened to the first album you will notice that the band has evolved.

First, you can hear that the production has changed and is perfect for this kind of music: I mean for fast and brutal Black Metal. Some amateur bands like to have a crappy sound with buzzing guitars to cover their poor songwriting and some other bands prefer to have a really sharp sound, borderline overproduction. Death Fanaticism is well produced, the sound is clear, and all instruments are hearable (including the bass guitar). The production is perfect because there is still a dark feeling in the music, keeping the main goal for Black Altar: offer an obscure Black Metal to the listener.

The sound of the guitar is clean, and the riffing is awesome, especially on the track "Path Ov Death". You know, this band is not what I can call innovative... but if the riffs are good and well-written, would I expect more from the guitar? Hell no, bands like Black Altar are legions, but few of them are able to write good music, which is not hidden behind a wall of noise or screamed vocals.

Songs are fast as well as the drumming with sometimes some slower passages which tend to reinforce the dark atmosphere. Drums are effective without being unforgettable

Speaking about vocals, Shadow has not an incredible voice, but his raspy vocals fit with his music and his lyrics are almost understandable. To be honest, I don't care about the lyrics because Black Altar is about standard Black Metal lyrics: death of humanity and blood, that's all.
The booklet comes with the lyrics, a picture of Shadow, some draws with a hanged priest, nothing special. I prefer this kind of booklet rather than albums with a tr00 black two-pages booklet so with Death Fanaticism I'm pleased.

In conclusion, the music on Death Fanaticism is in the vein of the first album: standard Black Metal well written without massive flaws and goods riffs. Not the best band in the genre, but still very good. I hope for some innovations in the future.